Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Ernesto Castaneda


This thesis attempts to solve the question of why, despite the efforts of many social activists, there is not a unified social movement in Ciudad Juárez, México. My hypothesis is that social activists who are able to distinguish between a collective project and a personal project are more likely to create a successful social movement than those who tie their public identity with their personal identity. The reason seems to be that individuals who do not make this distinction are not able or willing to create networks beyond their ideologies, as well as beyond their personal direct influence and control, hence limiting the possibility of influence of their social organization in a larger political scene. This limitation seems to have prevented social organizations from creating a unified social movement.

My data was collected through in-depth interviews as well as participant observations. The interviewees were chosen through snowball and purposive sampling. Interviews were done with key, representative social activists from August 2011 to July 2012. Participant observation was made during organizational meetings and events. To some degree, I have participated in and analyzed social movements on the border of Ciudad Juárez, México -El Paso, TX for over seven years. Through my analysis, I find that there are different types of participants in the social organizations. I propose a typology of social activists. The first one is faddish activist, then occasional activists, followed by part-time activist, and finally core activist. I focus this study on core activists and their role in creating strong social movements.

Keywords: Social Movements, Ciudad Juárez, México, Solidarity, Social Activists




Received from ProQuest

File Size

139 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Luis Diaz